Hello! I'm new and I have a question regarding one of my labs. I have a 19 month old boy (Percy) and a 15 month old girl (Penny). I got Percy when he was only 8 weeks old so he's used to humans and other dogs. I got Penny at 8 months old from the same breeder and perhaps she was not socialized with humans as much, so now each time she sees a stranger, she either barks at them or runs and hides (she is fine with other dogs). She is totally affectionate with me and my boyfriend though. It look my boyfriend's mom coming over every week for 3 months for Penny to get used to her. We are currently taking them to intermediate class and we take them to the dog park almost every week. I'm not sure if it's a self confidence thing or if she just doesn't like strangers. I want to be able to have guests over without her feeling threatened or afraid. Any ideas and suggestions will be much appreciated! Thanks ahead of time.
Is she food or toy motivated? I would suggest having "strangers" come to your house and make a really big deal about it so she learns that strangers are good. As long as she won't bite out of fear, have the strangers give her her favorite treats or toy... Maybe at first have them toss them towards her, then move up to having her take the treats/toy from the stranger.
You also may want to have a trainer come to your house.. There may be something else that's spooking her that you don't realize.
You should expose her to a lot of things/people/situations and make them fun for her (reward/praise when she behaves normally in those environments). If this is a genetic issue (versus just not being properly socialized when young) this could go on for many years - so be aware of that.
I would not get another Lab from a breeder who produced a puppy like this (unless she was a return and someone else made her this way).
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I would sign up for obedience classes with this pup and ideally if you want talk to them about developping a plan to help her confidence.
you need to make strangesr a good thing, but you need to do so slowly. if you push too hard you will only reinforce the fears. For example, have strangers not look at the pup, not make eye contact and stay farther away but gently toss treats her way. but if they stare at her or worse, lean in that will reinforce her fears. no forcing her to be pet. no forcing her to get up close and personal with strangers, baby steps. I have an adopter who worked with a trainer and one thing (just oen of the many) they did was, when strangers came in the house, they immediately grabbed treats (which were kept at entrance) and tossed them in teh opposite direction and walked in (ignoring the dog).
This is a great book, and it is inexpensive: Welcome to Dogwise.com
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
My son and his partner have a Lhaso like this.Tracy gives people a treat when they come in and when Blondie starts to come near them they give her the treat.Everything is done very gently.Tracy says she should take her out more.
Tessa is a bit weary of people and dogs and I take her to the cafe or park and sit quietly. People come up to her, or walk past and she is getting much better. I took her to the park when few dogs and owners were there and slowly built her up. It ha taken time, but she is so different today, and has a lot more confidence.
One thing I was told not to do was when they are fussy, not to make a fuss or it reinforces the fear. Ignore them and tell others to as well.